Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott calls for change to NCAA model
LOS ANGELES – Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott rejected the idea of treating football and men’s basketball student-athletes as employees, but stressed the need to improve financial support for student-athletes while addressing the media Wednesday at Pac-12 Football Media Day.
“What’s at stake is much more than student-athletes being employees,” Scott said in his welcoming remarks. “You can’t design a system around the two percent” of Pac-12 football players who make the NFL.
Scott said treating student-athletes as employees would be detrimental to women’s sports and Olympic sports. The Pac-12 sponsors 22 sports, and 36 varsity sports are played among Pac-12 schools.
He also emphasized his support for improved academic, financial and medical care of student-athletes across the board, standing behind a call for reform by presidents and chancellors of Pac-12 schools to offer scholarships that cover the full cost of attendance, give student-athletes ample time to finish their degrees and decrease the time demands placed on student-athletes. Scott mentioned that the Pac-12 has committed $3.5 million per year over the next three years to a Pac-12 Student-Athlete Research Program that will include a Head Trauma Task Force to focus on medical concerns such as concussions.
“It’s time to make some significant changes,” Scott said. “We are at the precipice of making some very important changes in college sports.”